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Album review: Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf


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Surf feels like Chance the Rapper’s attempt to win ALL music.

Donnie TrumpetOver this album’s 16 tracks he performs a whistle-stop tour of genres, mixing rap with big band swing, blues, clubby stuff (you know, that genre: clubby stuff). And the most surprising thing? They’re all pretty good. Of course, some are better than others. But actually, all are pretty enjoyable.

Okay, I should point out now that this album isn’t just by Chance the Rapper. It’s actually by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, and Chance is just one of the guests that appears on some of the songs.

Surf also features Big Sean, Jeramiah and KYLE. Wait, KYLE? What kinda rap name is that? Fuckin’ KYLE. You can’t just take a middle class name and caps lock it. Although, I am looking forward to his collaboration with QUENTIN and THEODORE.

Having said that, Chance appears a helluva lot more than anyone else. If this was The Avengers, The Social Experiment would be the S.H.E.I.L.D/Nick Fury types always in the background. Meanwhile, Chance is Thor AND The Hulk AND Iron Man doing all the heavy lifting and the other guests are just Hawkeye, feeling lucky to be there.

So, what are the best songs? Well, the first two ('Miracle' and 'Slip Side') are great.

'Miracle' has a slow, gently building opening. It reminded me of Bruce Springsteen’s 'Paradise', but that’s probably because I know nothing about music.

'Slip Side’s start is the complete opposite. A loud, poppy tune, with a big band sound reminiscent of the streets of Louisiana. At least to me. Because again, nothing about music.  I dunno.

Another interesting tune is 'Nothing Came to Me'. This one’s an instrumental, and really has a cool Noir feel. This is probably my favourite song on the album and would work really well playing in the background of an old detective movie. Just listening to it makes me wanna pop on a trench coat and razz some goons for messing with this gumshoe’s dame. 

Most of the rest are pretty standard rap songs. Not to say that’s a bad thing. They’re all good rap songs. 'Wanna Be Cool' has a lively beat and is about the importance of being yourself. Which I guess is a pretty easy thing to say if “yourself”, happens to be is Chance the Rapper.

Try selling “be proud of yourself” to the guy in his mother’s basement, watching reruns of Scrubs and gently masturbating with Cheetos stained hands. Still, it’s a quick, melodious song with a great kick.

Talking of great kicks, 'Just Wait' has a great one. It’s one of the most triumphant, joyous songs I’ve ever heard (even if it does sound like Mario Kart in parts).

This album is a great mix of music, bringing together genres you might not expect to be in the same album or song.

With as little as I know about music, I liked this a lot. So take that for what’s its worth. Even if that is bugger all.

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